Support Domestic Energy Sources

October 24, 2000

Oil prices have spiked up again. I'm sure we aren't going to tap the strategic oil reserve for any more oil now. The election will be behind us and there won't be any reason to open it up.

The point that we don't want to miss is that there is a very unique climate out there right now. A climate that is crying out for more of our own energy. Less dependence on foreign oil sources.

It's fine to talk about electric cars, etc. but let's be realistic. This nation nms on oil and coal and to a lesser extent natural gas. We use a lot of energy in farming. A battery-powered tractor isn't going to happen.

It is a fact that our oil industry receives enormous government subsidies. A government accounting office study estimates 150 billion dollars in the past 10 years while ethanol has received tax credits of some 11.5 billion dollars.

Now I'm not here to criticize what our oil and gas industries receive as much as I am saying, "Let's give renewable fuels more help." Now is the time. We're importing 60% of our oil. We're looking at a very unstable Middle East. It could explode, and where would we be then? There is a lot to be concerned about. Fortunately both Presidential candidates support ethanol and other renewable fuels. There is strong bipartisan support in the Congress. The climate is right to push for more domestic energy. Drill more oil and gas wells. Use more ethanol.

The election will be over but let's not let them forget. Be sure to vote November 7. Until next week, I am John Block, reporting from Washington.